If there’s a common thread that runs through my favorite games of 2013, it’s that the traditional “console gaming” experience just didn’t cut it for me in 2013: a full half of my list is made up of portable games and two of the others are, at this time, available only on a PC. There’s only one console exclusive, no next-gen games, and not a single Xbox or Wii U game to be found. Based on this, I’m left to conclude that my favorite releases of 2014 will only be playable on a Texas Instruments graphing calculator or, God forbid, the OUYA.
Without further ado, here’s my list:
10. Gone Home
My heart swells every time I think back upon my time with Gone Home: with zero on-screen characters, developers The Fullbright Company somehow managed to create an exploration-based game about music, family, youth, and perhaps most surprisingly, love. It all worked, too, in a way that these themes almost never work in video games. I was moved by how real the Greenbriar family felt to me as I wandered around their home; in a lot of ways, they reminded me of my family. Gone Home is, to me, an accomplishment simply because of how rare and intimate that kind of experience still is in gaming.